Anne McCaffrey: Dragondrums

Dragondrums (Harper Hall Trilogy, Book #3)
by Anne McCaffrey
(fantasy, YA)

I have very mixed feelings about this final book in the Harper Hall trilogy. On the one hand, I love (as with the prior books) seeing the events in the series as a whole playing out through the eyes of harpers. On the other, I have never connected all that well with Piemur. Maybe because I was a young girl when I read it for the first time, and hadn’t yet learned to connect with characters who were boys. Maybe because I always tried (at least then) to follow the rules, and Piemur blatantly does not. But for whatever reason, it never resonated as well as the prior two books. (Looking back now, having re-read it, I think it may also have something to do with the fact that the other two books in this trilogy spend very little time with someone other than Menolly as the focus character. Dragondrums, on the other hand, spends large chunks of time following one of the other harpers instead of Piemur.)

I think my favorite aspect of this book is that it does nicely tie up the loose ends in the Dragonriders of Pern trilogy, and introduces a few new characters that we meet in The White Dragon. It also nicely closes out the Harper Hall plotlines, and finished Menolly’s growth arc. But it still is not my favorite of the Pern books. (Which one IS my favorite is often up for debate, but The White Dragon and All The Weyrs of Pern are up there.) I do still enjoy reading it, and I’d be curious to see how I reacted to it if I’d read it for the first time when I was older. But if I were to manage to pick up just *one* of the Pern books to read without also finishing the rest of the series, I doubt this would be it.

Side note: I noticed in the author notes that Anne McCaffrey mentioned she could knit an Arran sweater in ten days. While I am jealous of the impressive list of novels she has written, I think I am nearly as jealous that she could knit such an intricate sweater in just ten days. It seems unreal. And yet, I love seeing the peek into her life. It humanizes her to see that she had other hobbies.


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